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Union of American Physicians and Dentists: Does UC Vice President Stobo Stand to Profit From Corrections Healthcare Deal?
Date:3/22/2010

OAKLAND, Calif., March 22 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The Schwarzenegger administration has proposed a plan to transfer responsibility for the medical care of California prison inmates to the University of California. John Stobo, senior vice president for health sciences and services for the UC system, supports transferring prisoner medical care to UC, telling the Los Angeles Times, "As a public institution and a public trust we have a responsibility and commitment to address the health needs of California." The Union of American Physicians and Dentists is now calling on Dr. Stobo, in his role as a leader of a public institution and a public trust, to disclose whether he has a financial relationship with the consultants behind the plan, the Texas-based company NuPhysicia, and whether he might benefit from any other perks as a result of this proposed deal.

The Department of Personnel Administration (DPA) is circulating a report drafted by NuPhysicia, a privately held company that sells the telemedicine systems that are, along with University control, a cornerstone of its plan for California.

Prior to his current position at UC, Dr. Stobo was president of the University of Texas Medical Branch (UTMB), an academic health center that assumed responsibility for inmate medical care in the State of Texas. NuPhysicia, according to its website, "exclusively operates telemedicine methods developed by the University of Texas Medical Branch, proven through serving hundreds of thousands of patients around the world."  In other words, Dr. Stobo is now promoting a plan for California that was drafted by a for-profit company which commercialized methods first developed under his leadership at UTMB. This connection raises questions about a possible conflict of interest for Dr. Stobo.

NuPhysicia, according to a press release it put out on August 3, 2007, sprung from a partnership between the University of Texas Medical Branch, run at the time by Dr. Stobo, and Houston-based private equity group Sanders Morris Harris. Stobo's resignation from the top position at the University of Texas Medical Branch went into effect four weeks after the birth of NuPhysicia, on August 31, 2007.

The Union of American Physicians and Dentists, established in 1972 and headquartered in Oakland, represents more than 2000 State of California employed doctors, including those working within the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR).

SOURCE Union of American Physicians and Dentists

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